Formed: 1991 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
Styles: Experimental Techno, IDM, Ambient Techno, Electro-Techno, Electronica, Post-Rock/ Experimental, Glitch
Like Aphex Twin, Autechre are about as close to being techno superstars as the tenets of the genre and the limitations of its audience will allow. Through a series of full-length works and a smattering of EPs on Warp, Clear, and their own Skam label, the group have consistently garnered the praise of press and public alike. Unlike many of their more club-bound colleagues, however, Autechre's Sean Booth and Rob Brown have roots planted firmly in American electro, and though the more mood-based, sharply digital texture of their update may seem to speak otherwise, it was through early twelves like Egyptian Lover's "Egypt, Egypt," Grandmaster Flash's "Scorpio," and "Pretty" Tony Butler's "Get Some" that their combined aesthetic began to form.
Booth and Brown met through a mutual friend, trading junked-up pause-button mixtapes of their favorite singles back and forth. Happening onto some bargain-basement analog gear through questionable circumstances, the pair began experimenting with their own music before they were out of high school. After some disastrous experiences with a few small labels, the pair sent a tape off to Warp Records, whose early releases by Sweet Exorcist, Nightmares on Wax, and B12 were announcing a new age in U.K.-based techno (and one that Autechre would become a key component in). Releasing a handful of early singles through the label, Autechre's first stabs were collected on their debut full-length, Incunabula, as well as the ten-inch box-set remix EP Basscadet. Subsequent albums would reach a wider audience through stateside reissue, first on Wax Trax!/TVT, later on Nothing (the label managed by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor), and finally through a stateside branch of Warp. Although stylistically rooted, affectations for the ponderous extend beyond their name and track titles ("C/Pach," "Bronchusevenmx24") with the basic premise of their approach being music without a whole lot of stylistic baggage but plenty of DSP'ed-to-death hyper-programming - easily one of the most distinctive sounds in the world of electronica.
In addition to Autechre, Booth and Brown have released material as Gescom on their own Skam imprint and through the Clear label, most notably The Sounds of Machines Our Parents Used EP on the latter. The group have also provided a number of memorable remixes (often times more memorable than their original material) for artists including Palmskin Productions, Slowly, Mike Ink, DJ Food, Scorn, Skinny Puppy, Tortoise, Phoenecia, and Various Artists.
-Sean Cooper (All Music Guide)